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Run without thinking

Over on Facebook, a friend is currently bemoaning her iPhone and more specifically the NikePlus app that allows you to track your walking and running. I used to run, dodgy leg precludes that now, can barely run for a bus these days…I also used to swim (not great for electronic gadgets) and I did used to keep track of lengths I swam and the time it took me and the pace I set myself and all that stuff…

But, then I read an article in my wife’s yoga teachers’ journal about the benefits of being a bit more zen, as it were, about swimming. Swimming can, after all give you the chance to switch off from the everyday world, especially in an outdoor pool (which we sadly no longer have in the village) or in the sea (preferably somewhere hot). Anyway, I took heart and stopped counting lengths…

The same school of thought can apply to running. You don’t need to plot and track, you don’t need to digitise this ancient experience, this primordial urge to beat out time beneath one’s feet. You can simply run for the sake of running. Distance is relative. You cannot outpace time, so it’s best ignored. Just run. Don’t use the running time to think nor to plan, if thoughts come to you as your legs move, then fine, listen to them, file them, ignore them. Don’t run to listen to music, to catch up on podcasts, to read audiobooks or anything else. Just run to feel the ground move beneath your feet.

Running. Swimming. Life. There may be an app for that. But, you really, really don’t need it…

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